Sunday night’s MTV Video Music Awards saw Jared Leto pay tribute to his friends Chris Cornell and Chester Bennington, two singers who took their lives earlier this year.
“MTV asked me to come here to say a few words about Chester and the late, great, Chris Cornell, two artists I had the absolute pleasure of touring with,” the 30 Seconds To Mars frontman began. “They were close friends with one another, Chester even singing the cover of the classic “Hallelujah” at Chris’ funeral. Chester said of Chris, ‘Your voice was joy and pain and anger and forgiveness, love and heartache, all wrapped up into one.’ Just weeks later, Chester himself was gone.”
“Chester was my friend, as he was to so many and witnessing his life taught me important things, especially about working relentlessly; pursuing dreams and being kind and caring while doing it,” Leto continued. “When I think about him, Chester, I see his face, which was always smiling. I think about his heart which he wore on his sleeve. I think how kindly he treated me, my brother, Tomo and our band. I think about his wife and six incredible children. I think about his family and his band who were really his brothers and I remember his voice, at once ferocious and delicate. That voice will live forever.”
Leto also used the opportunity to reach out to those needing support. “If there is anyone out there who is watching this tonight who feels like there is no hope, hear me now: You are not alone,” he added. “There is always a way forward reach out share your thoughts, there is always a way forward and I promise you this the absolute biggest breakthroughs in life lie just beyond the darkest days.”
The star’s plea came as the frontman asked the audience to stand while introducing a 2010 Linkin Park performance.